The grocery game challenge Aug 5-11, 2013, #1 – Skip the shopping cart and save


Carry Your Groceries And Save Money

Whether you call it a cart basket, grocery basket, shopping basket, hand basket or even a basket shopping cart if you use one of these nifty baskets to grocery shop it may save you money. A grocery game challenge fan Christine (lovely lady) posted her shop this past week and was talking about how skipping the shopping cart and opting for a shopping basket might save money when grocery shopping.

It never really occurred to me but in some way she may have hit the nail on the head with this one, only because when space is limited you can only buy so much.

So I went over by $5.00 this week but because I was under so far this month I managed to be under for the month!!! So that $15.25 was dropped on the overage to bring it down just a little. I think not getting a cart and just getting what the two of us could carry at NF helped as we were loaded down pretty good by the time we got to the till!! It’s not much but it is a start for me…. Now to keep it up… and I’m trying. I think the odd run into NF will help as their prices are good.

I’m sure many of you are saying that you use a grocery shopping list when you go shopping so getting a grocery basket wouldn’t be necessary but let’s think about this for a second. If we go grocery shopping with a list (we always do) and we put our $0.25 i n the cart to retrieve it (Christine pays $1.00 for her shopping carts at No Frills) and we shop around according to the list. Sounds easy enough and for those of you that are so disciplined not to stray from the list, hats off to you. We struggle and that is why I started the grocery game challenge so we could find ways to stop spending on too much food. The more food we buy, the more we eat and the more it costs.


So, today we decided to put the shopping basket to the test and leave the grocery cart for another time. We actually spent less money than we thought we were and we only bought one item not on the list which was the coconut. The basket was full mind you but we were really having to remember to stick to the list because we just didn’t have the space in the grocery basket I was holding.

One of the biggest problems is not everyone can carry a shopping basket as it does get heavy. I know some stores have a grocery basket with wheels or you can buy your own grocery cart on wheels that isn’t too big. Alternatively I’ve seen people get a shopping cart, then put the shopping basket inside which might also work if you view that basket as the only basket to fill.

What do you think? A no-go or a possibility to help people who stray from their grocery list to stick to it?

August grocery game recap

If you missed grocery game posts for this month just click on the links below and post your shops in the comment section. This week grocery shop #5 is the last weeks shop for the month of August.

This is the first shop for August but our July Grocery Game Winner is….. MARY CAMPBELL!!! Thanks to all that posted your shops and don’t forget every post gets you a ballot!!


Grocery saving tips

Free Money Saving Downloads are lists that were created to get us on track to work towards reaching our budgeting goals. Get organized with a freezer inventory, meal plan, shopping list, price comparison list and much more all for FREE. I want to see you save money in your budget.

Click, Save and Print. It’s that easy

Food food and more food

What’s In MrCBB's Shopping Cart

Food Basics

  • 5lbs of carrots $2.97
  • Reduced kiwi $0.99
  • 4 x Marc Angelo Turkey Sausages Reg $4.99 Sale $2.99 each
  • Breakfast Sausages x2 $2.71-$0.81 and $2.77-$0.83
  • Delicious Apples Sale $0.97lb $$1.75
  • Coconut $0.99
  • 3 packs of garlic $0.98 each
  • 2 x seedless cucumber Sale $0.97 each
  • Tomatoes $1.63
  • Tomatoes Roma $1.30
  • Cantaloupe- Sale $1.50

Total out of Pocket $31.81

Shoppers Drug Mart

  • 2x Dozen Eggs Sale $1.99
  • 2x Neilson Milk $3.97 each
  • Danone Activia Yogurt $3.99-$2.00 Managers Coupon- $0.75 coupon

Total Out Of Pocket $13.16

Yearly grocery budget for two: $2819.38
  • Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $235.00 or $78.33 week with one no-shop week per month or $58.75 for 4 weeks per month. (During the months with 5 weeks we just make it work)
  • Total Budget For July: $235.00- $53.08 (over-spend in July) = $181.92 to spend in July.
  • Total Coupons Used this Week : $2.75
  • Total Discounts this Week: $0
  • Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
  • Total Rewards Points Used: $0
  • Stockpile Budget: $20.00 Used $
  • Total Spent This Week: $44.97
  • Total Spent So Far for August $44.97
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop:  $0
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month of  (August): $ 0
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $181.92-$44.97=$136.95
  • Total Coupons Used This Month:$2.75
  • Total to Carry Over Next Month: $ n/a
  • Total Spent To Date This Year: $206.95 (Jan)+ $160.77 (Feb) + (March)$169.62 + (April)$397.74+(May) $155.68 + (June) $216.01+ (July) $235.83=$1542.60 (does not include stockpile budget)
  • Rendezvous Account: $65.38 This is money saved if there is any leftover at the end of a month of grocery shopping for a date night for the wife and I.

Weekly Overview: We had a pretty good shop today considering we didn’t need much. It was more about stocking up on vegetables and turkey sausages since they were on sale. We have another month with a limited budget and we are going to work very hard to correct our overspend from back 2 months ago. It’s taking so long, it’s no easy, I hope we can do this with all of your support. 

Canadian coupons found in August


Frequently Asked Questions

Grocery Game Challenge RULES….. Read the rules first and if you have any questions email me or comment on this post with your question and someone will answer you as soon as possible. 

  1. Do I have to be Canadian to post my Grocery Shop? No, you don’t have to be Canadian to post your shops only to win a monthly prize. We have a few players from around the world.
  2. When does the Grocery Game Close each month? The Grocery Game Challenge closes at midnight of the last Sunday of the last post for the month. You can post your shops all month-long.
  3. Does Your Grocery Budget Include Health and Beauty and Laundry? Yes our Grocery Budget includes such items as shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap, fabric softener, dish soap etc. We don’t mind stockpiling items that won’t be affected by expiry dates or have long expiry dates but not so much food any more. It’s just one way to help cut your budget to save money.
  4. Where can I find Canadian CouponsHere are your latest Coupon Match-ups  of the week including Checkout 51 from 25 Newspaper Inserts around Canada compliments of Save Big Live Better that you can use to help you save money in the Grocery Game Challenge.
  5. What is an FPC? An fpc is a free product coupon which means you can get a free product as described on the coupon.
  6. How Do I Know what stores accept coupons? You can find all your store coupon policies here. If you are not sure it’s always best to call the store and ask.
  7. How Do I Grocery Shop? I can tell you about grocery shopping and what we do in terms of shopping to save money and how it works for us. There are no wrong or right answers, just smart choices.

Over time you will gradually learn where you should and shouldn’t go in the grocery store or at least how to say no, I’m on a budget I ‘need to buy this or that. You may also substitute items in order to stick to your budget to make it work. Nobody is perfect, heck we struggle with this part of our budget like many people do and this is why the grocery game challenge was created.

If you have just joined The Grocery Game Challenge get ready to dive deep into your grocery budget and learn just where you are spending, how much you are spending and what you are saving. You’ve made a wise decision.


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  1. Love this idea. If I only have to get a few things at Aldis, I skip the cart and just use my bag as a basket. Same concept 🙂 I also calculate roughly how much my purchase will be, add a couple dollars and go in the store with that cash and no purse. List only, blinders on. The store’s job is to get me to buy more than I intend to.

  2. I had never considered that what I physically hold my groceries in makes a difference in how much I’ll save. I guess it makes sense! We are visual creatures. We eat more when we have a larger plate, so I can see how we’d spend more when we have a larger basket/cart!

  3. Hi Mr. CBB! Here is my shop for the past week.
    2.24lb onion $0.79
    2.6lb potato $1.09
    1.4lb tomato $0.49
    7 slices of cheese for cheeseburgers $1
    220gr cream cheese $1.79
    lettuce $0.25
    3.22lb banana $0.32
    1,000 island sauce $2
    2 flans $1.33

    1lb jumbo shrimps $6.66
    1.2lb chicken breast $4.2
    100ml thick cream $1.19
    1.08lb banana $0.18
    0.36lb mushroom $1.31
    tomato sauce $0.36

    total $23

    Weekly overview: I wanted to do cheeseburgers with 1,000 islands but that sauce was disgusting, cheap imitation, I don’t like to throw food but I think it will be thrown.
    The shrimp guy had lobster at $10/lb, is that a good price? I’ll buy some some day but it was late and he comes from 4 hours away and stands in the sun all day… Went shopping two days in a row and bananas were $0.17/lb a day and $0.1, almost half price, weird how they change so quickly.

    Total Grocery Budget for the Month:$100
    Total Coupons Used this Week : none
    Total Spent This Week:$ 23
    Total Spent So Far for (august): $23
    Total Over/Under spend this shop: $2 under.
    Total Over/Under spend for the month of (august): $2 under

    Total Left to Spend for the Month: $77
    Total Spent To Date This Year: $1,355.63 for two until July.
    $23 for 1 from August 1st. Looks like it’s just me now :(.

  4. I like this Idea Mr CBB. I’m the other way around myself, I go in for a couple of things and don’t bother picking up a basket, then I end up balancing half the grocery store in my arms and it all comes crashing down at the checkout. #ShouldHaveGotABasket!

  5. I don’t know why I have to fill in the three lines of info every time I comment. Ugh! Anyway, I don’t know where I read this, but statistically they said you spend more when you carry a basket. Now I have no idea why, but I just remember that. 🙂 I do tend to shop for small amounts but more frequently. It’s not what someone who scours the weeklies for sales would do, but I found it has helped eliminate food waste in my house. So at least that’s good.

    1. I used to do the same in the UK only because my refrigerator was the size of a beer fridge. I found when I was single I would just go get what I needed BUT I was still frugal. For a bachelor I still cooked every day.

  6. Always love seeing your grocery buys, Mr. CBB. Skipping the cart might not work for our family of six, as it usually gets loaded up pretty full on our once a month outings, but I could see how it could work well for others.

  7. I like the idea of using the shopping basket instead of a cart. It would definitely make me rethink what I put in there if I had to lug it all over the store. Those things can get heavy quick.

  8. I can see how that could help, because it could serve as a reminder to limit what we buy, keep down to the essentials, etc. Great thing to try!

  9. Skipping the cart and carrying the basket is really a great and new idea for me. Next time when I go for my grocery shopping I would like to give a try on this for sure. Thanks CCB for this great idea

  10. Ha! The basket may indeed save on the old grocery bill, but our list is so tight it would not work for us. Years ago when we had a loose list, that would have been great;) Keep beating the grocery stores down to the ground, CBB!

  11. Glad to help with the post!!! Lol!!! You would have had a good laugh seeing the son and I hauling our stuff to the till!!! I had the big bag of flour(10kg) and two 4l bags of milk and I think there may have been a couple of small things tucked in there and my son carried the basket loaded down plus a couple of other things!!! I do think having the basket instead of the cart does help keep costs down so long as it isn’t the main shop of the week, and this wasn’t. I had been waiting for a sale on flour for a bit so I wanted to get my flour!! If you are shopping for one or two people it will work but I shop for four people, so it’s use the cart most times or make a lot of small trips! If you are walking too, it will help make sure you can still walk home…

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